Aerial view of Dahlonega, Georgia, decked out in holiday lights at night. The lights paint the streets in a golden glow.

Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by Jeremy Satterfield

Georgia's Magical Holiday Events

From holiday lights to train rides with Santa, experience the magic of the season at these Georgia events!

Twinkling lights, train rides, historic home tours and more fill the events calendar throughout the holidays in Georgia. These signature events are gifts the whole family will enjoy this holiday season.

Holiday Light Displays in Georgia

Christmas tree and holiday lights are wrapped around the trunk and branches of a large, drooping willow tree in Jekyll Island, Georgia.
Jekyll Island, Georgia

Holly Jolly Jekyll

Jekyll Island is home to more than a million lights during the Holly Jolly Jekyll season. The Great Tree alone has more than 45,000, which is more per square foot than the NYC Rockefeller Center Christmas tree! Purchase tickets online for the guided tram tours that take place on select nights. Trolley riders will enjoy festive holiday beverages, music, and a one-of-a-kind tour souvenir. 

Don't miss the light parade, holiday fireworks, and special drive-in movie presentations. Check the Jekyll Island events calendar for a full lineup of holiday fun!

Late November to early January

Gigantic wreath of lights at Callaway Resort & Gardens Fantasy in Lights in Pine Mountain, Georgia. The road beneath the wreath is lit up in green from the lights.
Callaway Resort & Gardens Fantasy in Lights in Pine Mountain, Georgia

Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Resort & Gardens

Callaway Resort & Gardens' Fantasy In Lights is not only the South's most spectacular holiday light and sound show, it is one of the world's "Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights," as named by National Geographic Traveler. Journey through the seven-mile scenic drive, featuring 17 brilliantly illuminated Christmas scenes, and then explore the Callaway Christmas Village, where a forest of twinkling lights, gigantic snowflakes and larger-than-life ornaments enchant your whole family. The Field of Lights scene is nearly two football fields long, featuring a Christmas tree more than 10 stories tall, making it the tallest Christmas tree in the South. Make the most of your night of lights with an overnight stay in a cozy cottage, villa or The Lodge & Spa.

Plan your trip with tips from Explore Georgia's Guide to Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Resort & Gardens.

Mid-November to early January

An aerial view of bright, gleaming holiday lights at Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Atlanta, Georgia. In the background are the tall buildings and their twinkling lights against a black night sky.
Aerial view of holiday lights at Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by @jerrito1

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

The annual electrical extravaganza features spectacular light displays throughout the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The massive Tunnel of Light along with favorites such as the Orchestral Orbs, Glittering Galaxy, Radiant Rainforest and Model Trains continue to make the exhibition a must-see holiday tradition.

Mid-November to mid-January

Two toy soldier light displays stand at attention next to climbing stone stairs Rock City Gardens' Enchanted Garden of Lights in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. The surrounding trees are illuminated in a pink light from the bright light fixtures.
Toy soldiers light display at Rock City Gardens' Enchanted Garden of Lights in Lookout Mountain, Georgia

Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights

This award-winning light extravaganza at Rock City Gardens features more than 30 holiday scenes that transform the gardens' natural daytime splendor into a nocturnal fantasyland. Explore the Arctic Kingdom Aurora Lights, the Magic Forest and more, while also enjoying holiday shopping and visiting with Santa.

Mid-November to late December. Reserved timed entry tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Trees decorated with holiday lights along a path at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens.
Winter WonderLights at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Winter WonderLights

This walk-through light show at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens features illuminated displays along a half-mile path that is certain to delight and inspire. At Winter WonderLights, wander through a Winter Wondercave, along Jingle Bell Lane and through a Cone Tree Forest while you enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, and shop for gifts in the holiday market. The half-mile trail takes 45-60 minutes to complete and is fully ADA-accessible.

Select nights late November to late December

Then, in January, the garden will offer a special event for the new year, WonderLights Disco Nights. Disco Nights will allow visitors to experience the light show trail while grooving to disco hits. Ticket prices and entry times for Disco Nights will be the same as Winter WonderLights.

Early January

A large white, regal-looking building stands tall in the middle of a square in Moultrie, Georgia at night during the holiday season. From the very top of the building are rows of colorful string lights reaching down to the ground, where a live band plays for an audience.
Moultrie, Georgia

Holiday Lighting Events

Join magical festivities throughout the state in dramatic holiday lighting ceremonies with music, performances, food and much more family fun. Mark your calendars for these hometown favorites:

Find more lights 

Holiday Festivals in Georgia

A warmly lit street in Dahlonega, Georgia. The cobblestone path reflects the light of the surrounding holiday lights strung on trees' branches and along the sides of buildings.
Dahlonega, Georgia

Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega

Don't miss the Lighting of Downtown Dahlonega and Lighting of the Tree, the Christmas Parade and visit with Santa various dates. Enjoy Christmas lights, carriage rides, music, wine tastings, extended shopping hours and more holiday festivities through the end of December. Experience the holidays in Dahlonega, which has been named one of the Top 25 Hallmark Christmas Towns!

Late November to late December

A child wearing red cowboy boots sits on Santa's lap in an extravagant-looking chair at Victorian Christmas in Thomasville, Georgia. The two are holding something and looking down at it in wonder. Santa's suit is very red and their beard is very fluffy and white.
Victorian Christmas in Thomasville, Georgia

Victorian Christmas in Thomasville

Carriage rides with jingle bells and twinkling lights set the stage for a truly unforgettable experience in Thomasville during Victorian Christmas. Carolers sing traditional favorites while colorful characters capture your imagination with street theater. Community sing-alongs, chestnut roasting and marshmallow toasting will put you in the mood for Christmas. Festival favorites include live musical entertainment, carriage rides, a live nativity and a winter wonderland for children!


Explore more events & festivals in Georgia

Holiday Home Tours in Georgia

Couple standing in front of the Christmas tree at the Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville, Georgia. Their backs are to the camera but they are each extending an arm to embrace the other.
Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville, Georgia

Christmas at the Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville

Embrace the smell of fresh-cut Fraser firs and chestnuts on the fire as the Old Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville transforms into a beautiful representation of what Christmas looked like in the time period before the Civil War. During Christmas at the Mansion, every room is dressed with authentic period decorations — from streamers in the children’s room to poinsettias, holly branches and gorgeous ribbons in other rooms and parlors. For an especially unique experience, take a candlelight tour.

Select dates mid-November to mid-December

Two people in dressed in warm clothing walk up stone steps to a stately white mansion in Madison, Georgia. They are touring houses as part of Madison's Holiday Tour of Homes.
Holiday Tour of Homes in Madison, Georgia

Madison's Holiday Tour of Homes

It’s the perfect seasonal delight for adults or a grand Georgia welcome for out-of-town visitors. Madison’s Holiday Tour of Homes invites visitors to explore Madison’s most beautiful and iconic homes decked out for the holiday season. Even more spectacular: explore the grandeur by candlelight! 

Early December

A large, wide, white mansion sits in the middle of the photo under mostly-blue skies. Two willows are on either side of the mansion, which is the Plum Orchard Mansion in Cumberland Island, Georgia. A dirt trail leads to the mansion amid green grass.
Plum Orchard Mansion on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Photo by @gcalebjones

Plum Orchard Christmas Tour on Cumberland Island

Experience what Christmas on Cumberland Island looked like on a special holiday tour of Plum Orchard mansion. Stroll through rooms decked in traditional early 1900s decorations. Learn about holiday customs of the time from volunteers and staff dressed in period costumes. In addition to the tour, enjoy seasonal refreshments, play some old-fashioned lawn games, and create a souvenir of your visit. You may even hear a Christmas carol or two! Space is limited, so advance reservations are highly recommended.

Early December

A photo is taken from the middle of a dark-wood staircase at the Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia. In the photo are tall windows adorned with sweeping drapes, antique furniture, wooden walls and a tall, wide Christmas tree decorated with a lot of ornaments and under which sit piles of wrapped presents. The sun is shining in through the windows.
Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia

Hills & Dales Estate

Celebrate the season at the Hills & Dales Estate in LaGrange. The halls of this Georgian Italian villa are decked with fresh plants, flowers and evergreens. In the living room is a Christmas tree decorated circa 1940s, and a special display adorns the Palm room. Tour the home, and learn to make your own greenery at wreath workshops


Celebrate Christmas Past with These Holiday Home Tours

Holiday Train Rides in Georgia

Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to spectators on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The train is large and red and is adorned with a green wreath at the front of it. Behind the train are rows and rows of people waving back, and a cloudy sky.
Santa and Mrs. Claus on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Holiday Express in Blue Ridge

Enjoy a daytime fun-filled train ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Lasting only an hour, the ride is great for families, and all children get a traditional bell and a candy cane.

Select dates late November to late December

Smiling families and individuals sit in train cars on the Georgia Coastal Railway's Santa Special Train in Kingsland, Georgia. There are red-and-green stockings hanging from the rails and there are also colorful string lights running from one end of the cabin to another.
Georgia Coastal Railway's Santa Special Train in Kingsland, Georgia

Santa Special Christmas Train in Kingsland

On the Georgia Coastal Railway, the magic of Christmas comes alive when Jolly Old St. Nick himself and his elves board the train. Enjoy entertainment all along the 70-minute journey.

Select dates late November to late December

Santa, in a red-and-white fuzzy suit, smiles down on a family of five eating a meal off of red plates on the Historic SAM Shortline Railroad to Plains, Georgia.
Historic SAM Shortline Railroad

Holiday Train Rides on SAM Shortline

Reserve your tickets on the Historic SAM Shortline Railroad for several special holiday train rides. Join the ride to Plains in late November to see the annual Christmas Lighting, ride the Candy Cane Express and more.

Select dates November through December

8 Holiday Train Adventures Around Georgia

Holiday Attractions in Georgia

Two smiling and laughing parents look up at the sky and play with their two kids while snowflakes fall around them at Stone Mountain Park's Stone Mountain Christmas celebration. The kids are smiling and admiring the snow around them, and behind all of them are trees wrapped with red-and-green lights.
Stone Mountain Christmas at Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Christmas

Have a holly jolly Christmas at Stone Mountain Park, where the true magic of the season is in the air. Enjoy the glow of more than 2 million lights, festive music and visits from some your favorite holiday characters at Stone Mountain Christmas. Start a new tradition and create memories that will last a lifetime for the whole family.

Mid-November to late December

Two light-up giraffes stand next to each other in front of light-up tree displays at the IllumiNights Chinese Lantern Festival at Zoo Atlanta.
Giraffes at Illuminights Chinese Lantern Festival at Zoo Atlanta

IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta

Wildlife lights the night at the IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival. Experience Zoo Atlanta after dark and be inspired by animal lanterns — some more than 20 feet tall — depicting some of Earth’s most charismatic creatures. Each lantern is made and hand-painted by Chinese artisans, representing thousands of hours of work. 

Mid-November to mid January

A brick building at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell is decorated with red-and-green lights. The sign at the front of the building says "Six Flags Holiday in the Park." The sky is dark behind the building.
Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell, Georgia

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia

Enjoy festive holiday shows, scrumptious treats, and your favorite thrill rides and roller coasters at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell during the holiday season. The park will transform into a winter wonderland, featuring festive holiday lights and themed decorations!

Select dates mid-November to late December

Published: August 2023
Written by: Lesli Peterson
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